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Engaging First-Time Conference Attendees

Engaging First-Time Conference Attendees: 4 Tactics to Try

Of course you want to provide an exceptional experience for ALL of your conference attendees, but ensuring that happens for your first-time attendees is particularly important. Their decision to attend future events (and possibly even renew their membership) depends heavily on that first experience, so going the extra mile for those folks, in particular, is certainly worth it.

What does “going the extra mile” for your first-time attendees look like? Here are a few tactics worth trying:

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Your Association and Crowdsourcing: A Perfect Match?

Posted by Callie Walker

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The concept of crowdsourcing has always fascinated me - and I don’t just mean in terms of money. See, I like taking pictures (of places, restaurants, food, etc.), and I LOVE when companies/organizations share my content. In fact, I TRY to take good pictures so that companies WILL share it.

But think about that for second. When a company shares my picture (via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.), they’re getting great content and I’m getting recognition - a win-win for both parties.

The best part about this, though? Your association can do it too! In fact, here are two things you can (and should) crowdsource:

1. Pictures

We just talked about this a little, but I’d like to go into a bit more detail. If your association isn’t crowdsourcing photos, you’re missing out on a HUGE opportunity to A) engage your members, and B) collect great content.

Here’s how to do it: Let’s say you have an upcoming meeting or event. Encourage people to tweet/post on other social media platforms during the event - and give them a specific hashtag to use. Then, monitor that hashtag for great pictures/content.

But note: You don’t have to limit yourself to just the platform they posted on. For example, if someone tweets a great picture, retweet them, of course, but then ask if you can share it on Facebook, Instagram, your website, etc. Likely, they’ll say yes, as long as you give them credit. Again, a win-win for both parties!

Below is an example of how Explore Georgia, the official Georgia tourism site, does it. See the picture below? Notice the little camera emoji in the caption? That’s who actually took the picture. Explore Georgia just shared it - on their Instagram and their website! (And they do this all the time by just following the hashtag #exploregeorgia.)

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2. Ideas

Do you ever feel like your association struggles to come up with new ideas? Particularly ideas that your members will like? Well good news: Sometimes, you can crowdsource those ideas.

For example, let’s say you work for a marketing association and you’re trying to plan your next t-shirt design. Well since your members are creative (they’re marketers!), why not ask them to submit ideas? Sketches, even. Then have your members vote on their favorites, and the winning design will become your next t-shirt! This is great for a multitude of reasons: 1) It takes the pressure off of you to have to come up with a really cool t-shirt design, 2) It’s a great way to engage your membership (particularly if they’re submitting ideas and voting), and 3) It’s a great way to ensure that people will actually buy your t-shirts. If they like the design, they’re more likely to buy it.

Now even if you don’t have a creative membership, you can still do this. Ask for ideas regarding event themes, swag, lunch and learn topics, etc. The possibilities here are endless.

At the end of the day, crowdsourcing is all about engaging your membership and making association management, well, a little easier. Want more tips for making BOTH of those happen? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Membership Management below!

The Ultimate Guide to Membership Management  Everything you need to know about managing your membership online, from  acquisition to engagement to retention. Download this guide

Topics: association management, association leadership, member engagement, Association Views

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